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Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bantabaa Win SESDO Junior Tournament

By Mandu Sanneh

Bantabaa F.C, a junior team from Faji Kunda have been crowned as Champions of the Serrekunda East Junior’s tournament after beating Medina FC of Tallinding by a goal to nil in the final at the East mini stadium on Saturday.

Joyful Bantabaa,   Glitering Trophy   and Frustrated Medina
The competition witnessed by many sports dignitaries was the first of its kind that the Serrekunda East Sport Development Organization (SESDO) organized inorder to give young players of the area to show case their talents on pitch.

Medina F.C dominated the first half with many scoring chances but were unable to find Bantabaa’s goal net, forcing the first half to end in a goalless draw.

After a poor first half, Bantaba came with fresh legs into the second half and started to play well. Mawdo Faal netted the opener for his side in the 59 minute after benefiting from a free kick. Just a minute after that, Medina’s Alasana Sanneh missed a clear chance which could have been an equalizer, before his team’s Omar Fofana was shown the way out by the central referee with a straight red card when found guilty of knocking Lamin Dibba of Bantabaa.

Pressure continued to mount as both teams were in search of a goal but they could not. The game ended one-nil in favor of the Faji Kunda youth players, Bantabaa.

Coach Ansumana Jammeh of Medina F.C expressed disappointed after losing to his opponent saying “I feel proud, my boys played good football but we were unlucky”.

Meanwhile Dembo Keita, Bantabaa’s Coach said he was excited for winning the first junior tournament staged by SESDO.

Bantaba F.C, winners of S/kunda east junior tournament went home with a glittering trophy and a cash price of  three Thousand Dalasis (D3, 000.00) while Medina F.C, runners up received two thousand dalasis (D2, 000.00). 

Gambia U-17 coach sacked

Lamin Sambou
The Gambia Football Association on Thursday announced the removal of Lamin Sambou from the post of national Under-17 coach after the Gambia's poor result in Rwanda.
Sambou's two assiatnts - Ebrima Manneh and Jane Joof - were also sacked in one of the most drastic measures taken by the GFA in recent memory.
Although announced on Thursday, the decision to sack the three coaches is believed to have been taken on Tuesday after an emergency meeting of executive committee members.
In several interviews after the Baby Scorpions' less-than-impressive campaign in Rwanda Sambou has consistently blamed his players for "not following instructions".
The GFA, in a press statement released on Thursday, left no doubt that it held the technicians solely responsible.
Press Release
“The Executive Committee of The Gambia Football Association has reviewed the performance of The Gambia U-17 National team in the 9th CAF African U-17 Championship held in Rwanda from January 8-22, 2011 and has since decided to terminate the services of the Head Coach, Mr. Lamin Sambou and his Assistant Coaches, Messrs. Ebrima Manneh and Jane Joof with immediate effect.

This decision was reached at an emergency Executive Committee meeting that thoroughly scrutinized the performance of our National team and drew the conclusion that the team’s failure to effectively and meaningfully perform in Rwanda was unquestionably technical. As such, the services of the Technical Staff have been terminated effectively.

The Executive Committee sincerely apologise to the entire Gambian populace for the dismal performance of our team in Rwanda 2011. We wish to reassure all and sundry that the factors liable for such a poor showing will be thoroughly examined and appropriate remedial measures shall be taken to ensure a more meaningful performance of our National teams in International competitions in the future.

The Executive Committee of The Gambia Football Association extends its heartfelt appreciation and thanks to H.E Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhagie Yahya A.J.J Jammeh, Chief Patron of the GFA for his overwhelming support to the GFA and the National teams. To the Ministry of Youth and Sports, we express our sincere thanks for the collaborative partnership. To the media (both private and public) and the entire football fraternity, we thank you for your continuous support and encouragement.”
Poor Results
The Gambia went to Rwanda as defending champions after winning the 2009 tournament in Algeria without losing a match and conceding only one goal in five matches.
They lost their opening game against Congo 3-0, won 1-0 against Mali and were hammered 4-1 by Cote d'Ivoire to exit the Rwanda tournament with the country's worst-ever result at Under-17 level.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

IOC Warn GNOC of Outside Interference

The International Olympic committee IOC, in an apparent response to the Gambia’s most talked about GNOC election has warned the local Olympic committee (GNOC) that it will not tolerate any outside interference in the  election process and/or in the GNOC’s internal affairs and operations. This was contained in a letter addressed to the Interim GNOC chief Beatrice Allen.
In the letter, the IOC threatened that any election not conducted under the jurisdiction of Mrs Allen would not be recognized.
The letter reads: Situation of your NOC
Dear Ms Allen,
We have been informed of the difficulties that you personally and your NOC are currently facing.
It is our understanding that a legal procedure is ongoing, however, knowing that elections within your NOC are scheduled on 12th February 2011, we would like to reiterate that: (i) The IOC will not tolerate any outside interference in this election process and/or in the NOC’s internal affairs and operations.
(ii) The election process must be conducted exclusively under the jurisdiction of your NOC and in particular under your leadership, as NOC Acting President, according to the process that was established by your NOC and with the list of voting members endorsed by your NOC in accordance with your NOC’s Constitution and the Olympic Charter.
Should this process not be conducted as planned by your NOC and endorsed by the IOC, the IOC (i) would not be in a position to recognise the outcomes and results of the General Assembly and
(ii) would be forced to take appropriate action for the protection of your NOC in accordance with the Olympic Charter and in particular Rule 28.9 which states:
“Apart from the measures and sanctions provided in the case of infringement of the Olympic Charter, the IOC Executive Board may take any appropriate decisions for the protection of the Olympic Movement in the country of an NOC, including suspension of or withdrawal of recognition from such NOC if the constitution, law or other regulations in force in the country concerned, or any act by any governmental or other body causes the activity of the NOC or the making or expression of its will to be hampered.”
We hope that everyone will understand the gravity of the situation and will strictly respect the jurisdiction of your NOC and the principles mentioned above which are based on your
NOC’s Constitution and the Olympic Charter.
We thank you for your continuous collaboration and we kindly ask you to keep us informed of any development in this matter. The letter Reads.

NSC Bows Down to National Assembly

The National Sports Council (NSC) bowed down to the no nonsense ultimatum of the legislature without delay as they retracted and apologized for their  recent press release challenging and protesting against the decision of the National Assembly on the GNOC election slated for 12 February.
The NSC retracted the release and apologised the National Assembly upon the assembly’s decision to question and reprimand the minister of Youth and Sports, his permanent secretary and the executive secretary of the National Sports Council for their roles in the letter challenging the decision of the National Assembly Select Committee on Youth and Sports.
The Youth Sports Minister Sheriff Gomez, Permanent Secretary Alieu Jammeh and Executive Director of National Sports Council Abdou Aziz Titao Mendy, appeared before parliamentarians on Tuesday remedy their “out of place move” under the instructions of Minister Gomez to direct the executive director of the NSC to reduce the decision of the National Assembly Select Committee as a matter to be “put aside”.
The NSC apologised to the Speaker of the National Assembly and members of the Select Committee on Youth and Sports In a letter headlined “Withdrawal of Press Release”.
The NSC withdrew its Press Release “National Sports Council Press Release on the GNOC Presidential Election dated 21 January 2011 captioned ".
The release apologetic NSC release stated “We sincerely apologize to the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly and Members of the National Assembly, particularly the Select Committee on Youth and Sports, for any inconvenience this Press Release might have caused your Honourable Office”.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sinchu Orphanage Director Commends Alkalo

By Abdoulie Nget
The director of the Orphanage Centre in Sinchu Alagie Sia Jongeneel also known as Awa Njie as her Gambian name,  commended the Alkalo of Sinchu for his support to the community and her orphanage in Sinchu Alagie as well.
Speaking to this paper, Sia dilated on her love for children which motivated her to venture into such initiative to take care of children orphan children. Sia said she was given a land free of charge by Salieu Ceesay, the Alkalo of Sinchu to build the centre.
She further stated that the building started in 2005 and finished in 2009 which took her four years before completion. “We are currently having 14 Children at the orphanage in which some are going to school and sponsored by the orphanage centre.
She further mentioned that she and her husband are not only venturing into taking care of children, but they also sponsor 245 students, again provided a borehole forSinchu Alagie and are planning to have a football field in the community of Sinchu.
According to her profile, during her travels, Sia was genuinely moved by physical beauty of TheGambia’s landscape. When she traveled to the interior of the country, however, she was struck by the harsh reality.
Back in Europe, where people regularly discard many things which are still quite usable, Sia began to mobilize everyone she knew, gathering clothing, medicines, school materials, etc.
With an ever growing number of volunteers, it became necessary to give the project legal structure. Thus the profit organization “Les Amis de Gambie ASBL” was established in 2002.  
Since then, many projects have been initiated and brought to fruition, including hospital support project, a program for sponsoring children education and, most recently, the construction of our orphanage, which opened its doors in January 2009.
There are 6600 orphans in the Gambia, out  of a total  population of 1.6 million inhabitants. Unfortunately, some children are not able to live with their families, whilst others simply have no one in their family left alive. There are not enough places available to take care of all the orphans in the Gambia. For “Les Amis de gambie” this was an unacceptable situation that it wished to help change.
Thus we began the construction of our orphanage in 2005.Our goal is to be able to offer a welcoming home for approximately 40 children , a home where they can grow up free of cares and prepare for a bright future.

Analysis: What Went Wrong with The Gambia U-17

By Abdoulie Nget

Was it that the Coaches are not competent? Is it that the players are not good? Was it lack of good preparation or was it that our group mates were stronger than the Gambia U-17, this are the questions that many Gambian peoples are asking over the ongoing Africa U-17 in Ruanda.
It was clear like a beamed light as the Gambia U-17 were finally quashed out of the Africa Cadet Championship after suffering a 4-1 defeat in the hands of Ivory Coast on Saturday, which many Gambians if not all are not happy about due to bad performance displayed on the pitch.
The baby scorpions of The Gambia were totally controlled and overshadowed by the Ivorians during the game, which pave their way out of the tournament as their opponents progressed to the Semi final as well as the World U-17 Cup to be played in Mexico.
The Gambia were beaten3-0 in their first game by Congo, but later bounced back with a 1-0 win against Mali, which gave hope to many Gambians that we may qualify but hopes were turned to sorrows as they were trashed 4-1 by the young Elephants of Ivory Coast.
Many questions are now coming up as to whether they did well or not, but the answer to these questions is simple which is “No they did not play up to expectation” when they managed to collected three points with two goals in three games after seven goals being slotted to their net.
The first mistake on my point of view was the training in Egypt were the weather is very cold as compare to the condition of Ruanda where there is very hot blended with heavy rains. Many people are questioning this move, but a member of the Gambia Football Association Kebba Masanneh Ceesay said in an interview before the competition said that the training was good, relaying it on their first training camp where they won and thought that they will win this time if they repeat the same move.
Mr. Ceesay also expressed optimism that the baby scorpions can defend their title, saying that despite the MRI test which many players failed.
Social commentators like Kebba Yorro Manneh said after the game against Congo that “lamentable is the defeat U-17 suffered but reasons advanced by the head coach Lamin Sambou were ridiculous where the Rwandan not on the same pedestal? Why the Egypt training camp then if the weather is not compatible? Can common sense prevail?”
Confidence of players and the Coach before and during the competition
“We have no team to fear,” these were the words of Gambian U-17 coach Lamin Sambou as the ninth edition of the CAF U-17 Championship kicks off in Rwanda.
“This is a strong team in all departments. I have been working with these boys day and night and I know what they are each capable of giving for their country,” Sambou was quoted by West Coast Radio, a local radio station.
“We have great confidence in our team and our chances in Rwanda,” he added.
The Gambians began their title defense against Congo on January 9 which they lost by 3-1, registered a victory against Mali before losing Cote d’Ivoire on January 15.
Knowing very well that a place at the last four automatically earns them a spot at the FIFA U-17 World Cup slated for Mexico later in the year, Sambou assured that his charges will go all out to realize that dream.
“We will certainly qualify,” he declared in a confident tone.
After Mali Game
After the match, Lamin Sambou admitted he and his team were under immense pressure to deliver. “If I do not say I was under pressure, I will not be telling the truth”.
He then went on to say that an unnamed Gambian journalist put him in a very uncomfortable position.
“One journalist in the Gambia put pressure on me, after all the interview I did with him, he told me pack your bags and come home because Mali will finish you,” LS told the packed press conference room.
However he thanked the almighty God and his Coaching Staff for being on his side.
He concluded his interview by praising his goal-scorer Yusupha Dawda Sarr on his debut.
“We just picked him from the Nawettan [non-league competition] and traveled with him in case the MRI test ruled out some regular strikers. But he proved he is a good striker and I hope he will be the one to take over from the captain [Buba Jallow].”
The questionable performance of the Gambia U-17 resulted to their exit and losing a spot in the upcoming World Cup in Mexico, as both Peter Bonu Johnson and Coach Sang Ndong said the performance of the boys were totally not good especially the game against the young Elephants of Ivory. When asked by Gambian Sports journalist Dodou Bojang of GRTS as to who can someone say delivered the best in the game, Bonu and Sang Ndong thought of it and said the goalkeeper whom four goals was slotted to his net then one can say there were no good performance for the Gambian players.
Though they tried their level best of having a spot to the competition but people wondered why they did not continued their performance.
After the game Gambia Under-17 coach Lamin Sambou has explained why the Baby Scorpions failed miserably in Rwanda and he’s not holding himself responsible for the failure.
Speaking to West Coast Radio and Gambia Sports Online a few hours after the team’s elimination on Saturday, LS told Abdoulie Bah: “Indeed it has been a sad day simply because, we are eliminated in the tournament and as the head coach I feel very sad.
“This has never happened to me with the under 17; it’s definitely a sad moment for me.”
As to the causes of the heavy defeat, LS couldn’t find fault with the weather or the pitch as he did when Congo beat the Baby Scorpions 3-0 in the opening encounter.
Instead he took a swipe on his players.
“Today’s defeat was caused by nothing other than bad performance.
“The boys failed to live up to expectations; they never adhered to our instructions today therefore they conceded an early goal.
“We told them how the Ivorians would come out at us but they failed to do what we told them. That’s the bottom line,” he argued.
“It’s obvious that they will say what they want to say. But football is a revolution.
“I have been an assistant for the past 5-6 years and we have been winning. If today I am the head coach and we’ve lost, that’s what God has decided,” he told Abdoulie Bah.
The embattled Under-17 coach also addressed the question of his future and seemed to suggest that he might find success in agriculture.
“The onus is now on [the GFA],” he said.
“If they feel what I did was not good and it warrants them sacking me, then I cannot do anything other than to go home and go up to my farm. As you know I am a farmer, so I will continue with farming.”
MRI Test
Maybe some people will attribute the exit of the U-17 to the MRI test as many player were dropped during the test leaving the coach Lamin Sambou to go with what he have, but that could not be taken as an excuse as there were good numbers of players to select the best among them.
Radio Programme
Two unnamed fans on the sports program anchored by Sang Mendy said that they were optimistic that the Gambia will make it to the semi final of the competition as well as the world cup in Mexico, which according to information gathered by this paper were not the views of many Gambian after watching a poor performance displayed by Gambian players against Congo.
“Long Live The Gambia U-17”

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Champion Baby Scorpions Revive Hopes, Mali Eliminated

U-17 Coach Lamin Sambou
Champions Gambia revived hopes of progression as Sarr Yuspha Dawda’s 34th minute header settled a difficult match on a rain-sodden Umuganda stadium pitch at the ongoing ninth Africa U17 championship in Gisenyi. The result marks the end of the road for the Malians who have no point after the second round of games in group B.
Mali is bottom of Group B following their opening group match loss to Cote D’Ivoire and now the defeat against Gambia. Leading the pack is Congo with four points and a superior goal difference to that of the Young Elephants who also have four points.
Sarr headed home from a corner after the Mali defence could not clear their lines as the ball ricocheted off the cross-bar from a well placed corner kick. But for the goalkeeping heroics of Dia Harouna, The Gambia could have netted more. Chance after chance, Harouna denied the menacing scorpion stings to keep the score line narrow.
A heavy downpour failed to dampen the spirits of the defending champions who needed all three points to be sure of a fighting chance in the last round of group games on Saturday. Mali struggled to create clear chances and could not utilise the few that came their way; including late in the match when Diarisso Sadio only had goalkeeper Ceesay Baka and a cluster of his team mates waiting to tap simply. Sadio went for glory and was thwarted by the advancing Baka.
The Baby Scorpions must now sting the Young Elephants to qualify to the semi-finals of the African championship; an achievement which comes with a spot at the next FIFA U17 World championships to be hosted by Mexico later this year.